Businesses using social media as one of their marketing channels often have two main problems: how do they keep their content on-brand, and on budget. Whether you’re managing a team posting status updates and articles for your business, managing your company’s profiles yourself, or running a business blog, social media can really become a drain on time without good organization, with the potential for simple tasks spiraling into several hours’ work.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some methods you and your team can use to streamline your social media workflow, ensuring you spend your time in the right places, cutting out non-essential activities, and finding inspiration for great content with less effort.
Ensure Your Content Is On-Brand
Searching for a suitable post to share from your company profile can take a lot of time and effort, especially if you or your team need to get approval from other stakeholders before sharing third party content. Wouldn’t it be much better to get pre-approved content sent straight to you or your team, which could then be scheduled to share with one click?
This method below will give you an efficient process to supply your team with approved social media content that’s on topic while avoiding any costly social media fails.
You’ll need two tools to make this work: an RSS reader and a “read-it-later” service. I use Feedly as my RSS reader and Pocket to store articles, because they work well together, but you could use almost any similar services such as Instapaper or Digg Reader.
Using your RSS reader, you’ll want to import a selection of RSS streams from websites relevant to your industry or niche. You might want to include a news outlet covering your industry, relevant industry blogs, your clients’ blogs, or news sites that your customers typically read.
You can also create a custom RSS feed using Google Alerts. This is a great way to get only the most relevant content delivered straight to you, streamlining your process even more by filtering out irrelevant content.
Using advanced search operators, you can create custom RSS feeds with Google Alerts to find content that’s highly relevant to your brand or keywords relevant to your business.
For example, to search for news and articles mentioning the company I work for, I’d type “Selesti” into Google Alerts, save the alert, then get my content delivered via an RSS feed instead of via email. Monitoring your brand name is a great way to find content to share via social media, for example picking up brand mentions in the press or new guest posts to re-share as soon as they go live.
To set it up, simply type your search term into Google Alerts:
Set the alert as RSS instead of email:
Then add it to Feedly:
Continue to add feeds for all content relevant to your business. You could even include a feed from your own blog to ensure everything is in one convenient place.
Next, you’ll want to connect your Feedly account with Pocket. Once this is done, you’ll be able to send content from Feedly to Pocket at the touch of a button.
Within Pocket, it’s then possible to add tags to articles:
The combination of these two types of services can be used in a couple of ways. A member of your team could be a researcher, using Feedly to source the best pieces of content, sending these through to Pocket. There, the social media manager could then approve or disapprove posts for publishing using the tag system.
Your team can then find all the current approved content simply by searching for “approved” within Pocket, or using whichever tag you’ve used to mark approved content. This can then be posted straight in Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or your favorite social media management software.
Once content is posted, articles can then be archived so that only fresh, unused content is available to be published.
Alternatively, you may want to handle the article selection process, sending only approved content through to Pocket, for your team to post at times that will drive the most engagement.
With either of these methods, you’ll be able to cut down the time it takes to find new content to share, since only one member of your team will be in charge of sourcing content, which would only need to be done once a week instead of every time a post is needed.
It also cuts down time spent if you have a CEO, CMO or client who needs to approve content before it is shared, which can be done with ease in Pocket. Again, this can be done in one session per week, rather than every time a post needs to be sent out.
Create Relevant, Timely Blog Content
Another problem that can affect the quality and quantity of social media content output is researching blog content. This can become quite a time drain if your writers aren’t able to keep up to date with the latest happenings in your industry, which may be the case if they are expected to write content every so often alongside their main roles.
Using the method shown above, you can create a repository of the best content about your industry for your writers to draw upon for inspiration and to cite in their posts. This can really help cut down the time it takes to plan and draft a blog article, ensuring research doesn’t turn into a serious time drain.
Once you have a begun building up your Pocket account with content, your content writers can browse through your article queue to find content, and using the tags function, categorize it. Writers can then find all the content for a particular topic simply by searching for that keyword, giving them a load of resources to use in their article. For example if I wanted to write an article on local SEO, I’d search my Pocket account for ‘local’:
This would then give me some starting points for article ideas, as well as resources to cite. I can then contact all the authors whose content I’ve used, asking them to share the article if they think their readers would find it useful. Building relationships with other writers in your niche like this is a great way to open doors for writing guest blog posts, boosting your online reach even further.
Thanks to RSS readers and read-it-later services, it’s easy to streamline your social media marketing operations, cutting down on back-and-forth when it comes to posting third party content, while making your content marketing process more efficient. Best of all, these tools mentioned are all free to use, meaning you can build an effective social media marketing process on a small budget.
The result is better content and better results; you’ll have a repository of approved content for your marketing team to use, so content will fit your brand’s persona, while the time it takes to produce quality content will decrease, since the research stage won’t have to be restarted every time a team member needs inspiration for a status update or blog post – reducing costs in the process.
If you have any tips on how you ensure your social media marketing process is as efficient as possible, please let me know in the comments below!